Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Program Name

Intelligence Studies

Capstone Instructor

Dr. Joseph DiRenzo III


When initiating Operation Protective Edge, a fifty-day military offensive operation, Israel stated that it was responding to Hamas that had attacked Israel with rocket fire. Protective Edge started July 8, 2014, with Israeli airstrikes targeting Hamas, then continued with Israeli ground troops entering Gaza on July 17, and ended August 26, 2014, when an open-ended cease fire mediated by Egypt was reached. The cumulative military and civilian deaths amounted to over two-thousand Palestinians and about seventy Israelis. The research analyzes how targeted killings could have been used efficaciously to Israel’s military, economic, and political advantage. Mixed methods are used with a concurrent embedded correlation approach for an explanatory quantitative case study based on qualitative sources. The thesis demonstrates that surgical preemptive strikes transitioning to a ground offensive operation to eliminate the tunnels used by Hamas for terrorist operations would provide more definitive threat neutralization, while reducing costs and negative media repercussions to Israel.



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